How To Use Data And Storytelling Techniques To Craft Compelling Stories

People don’t remember data, they remember the story. 

Everyone remembers the iconic scene from the movie Titanic, in which Rose stands on the railing of the ship and spreads out her arms, as if she were flying. But they probably don’t remember things like the number of lifeboats aboard the Titanic. Similarly, most people remember their favourite book or movie’s storyline, as opposed to minor specifics from the plot. This goes to show that we always remember well-told stories, with science increasingly finding that compelling stories evoke emotion and create patterns in our brains, improving our ability to remember information. 

Here at Mutant, we always make sure to tap into the power of storytelling when writing data-heavy press releases and bylines for our clients. In the age of shrinking newsrooms and oversaturated news, it’s hard enough to get your press release noticed in a general. But what you have to say doesn’t have the ability to engage with audiences, stand out from the crowd or add anything new to the ongoing conversation, it’s even more unlikely to be picked up by the media.

But fret not — with some solid storytelling tips in your arsenal, you too can learn to tell moving stories that can help even the most technical information leave an impact on readers for a long time:

Don’t data-dump

Ever seen a presentation chock-full of charts, tables and numbers, and gotten a headache? Data is a great way to add credibility and back up your statements, but using too much of it can be a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way to turn off the audience and fail to get the message across. Using the right amount of data and insights that actually matter to your audience and balancing them with storytelling elements is a great way to achieve the impact you want.

Keep track of key messages

When crafting your narrative, make sure you keep your overall message and business goals in mind. Before kickstarting any PR deliverables, Mutant always irons out the key messages that clients want to highlight to readers. This helps keep consistent messaging across all platforms and collateral, ensuring clarity and compounded impact. 

Set the stage with the right stats

The introduction is an important part of any story, and using the right stats is key to grabbing the readers’ attention. Use a significant figure to set up the scene and lay the ground for what’s to come.

Highlight conflicts with stats

What are the challenges mentioned in the story? Use stats to shine a light on the problem, and use this opportunity to marry data with storytelling techniques. Also consider adding in infographics and charts, which act as softer and more engaging ways to present hard facts alongside visually representing important data. 

Lastly, use data to back up your suggested resolution to the problem, along with your goals and what the future looks like to you. Walk the reader through how you’re going to get there, and use data to illuminate the way.

Need help crafting a compelling press release or byline thats heavy on data? Talk to our public relations and content team at [email protected] 

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